Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week 52: Garlic Shrimp

The Recipe
3 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
juice from 1 lime
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp chilli (optional)
1 tbsp brown sugar
200g shrimps
1 avocado, diced
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil

Mix together the first 7 ingredients (soy sauce through brown sugar) for a marinade. Dump in shrimps and let them soak for 15 minutes. Drain and cook on a hot pan for 2-3 minutes, discarding further liquid as it drains from the shrimps.

Toss with avocado, lemon juice and a bit more olive oil.

The Verdict
REALLY yummy! I left out the optional chilli as I was serving this to less spice-loving people, but I actually think it could have carried it, without being too spicy even for them. It tasted terrific, and we could easily have eaten more. Possibly one of the best new recipes I've tried all year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week 51: Tex-Mex Meatloaf

The Recipe
1 tbsp olive oil
1 finely chopped onions
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1-2 jalapenos, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp mild chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 can tomatoes
1 lb Ground beef and pork
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 eggs
1 can corn, drained
2 green onions, sliced
4 ounces shredded cheddar

(Jalapenos AND an entire tablespoon chili powder? No way DH would be able to eat that! I left out the jalapenos and used 1/2 tbsp paprika instead of the chili.)

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Warm the olive oil in a skillet, and add the onions, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, salt, oregano and cumin. Cook covered over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, re-cover, cook another ten minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Combine the beef/pork, tomato mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs in a large bowl. Add the corn and green onions. Transfer to a baking dish and form into a flat loaf. Bake for about an hour and 20 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and stick back in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt.

Serve with bread rolls.

The Verdict
Ok, first of all, I misread the recipe, so didn't discover how LONG it had to be in the oven until too late. So instead of 10 minutes, 10 minutes and 80 minutes, my cooking times were more like 5 minutes, 5 minutes and 70 minutes. Don't think it harmed the taste too much though.

I thought it mild, DH, even with my substitutions, found it a tad on the hot side. Good thing I didn't actually follow the recipe then! Fortunately it wasn't TOO too hot for DH, and with some extra chilli, I found it quite tasty. I'm not a huge fan of meatloafs in general, but this was one of the better ones I've tried.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Week 50 - Peanut Crusted Chicken

The Recipe
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (I didn't have any, so I used apple cider vinegar instead)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp gingerroot
2 chicken breast halves
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can corn

In a bag, combine the first 7 ingredients (soy sauce through chicken breast halves). Close bag, turn to coat and marinate in fridge - the original recipe said 4 hours, but I ended up leaving it overnight.
Preheat oven to 175C.
In another bag combine bread crumbs, peanuts, paprika and black pepper. Remove chicken from marinade (saving the marinade) and add to the crumb mixture, shaking thoroughly to coat each piece. Place chicken in an oven proof dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is done.

Meanwhile add remaining marinade, stewed tomatoes and the can of corn to a small pot, bring to a boil and then leave to simmer while the chicken is cooking, stirring occasionally.

Serve with rice.

The Verdict
Oven-baked chicken often gets dry, but the breading and marinade kept this nice and moist. I loved the chicken, but think it might go better with another side dish... I shall have to consider what that might be. Oh, and next time it definitely needs more peanuts and less bread crumbs - the ratio was a tad off there.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 49: Café Chicken

This recipe fits nicely into a 3.5L slow cooker

The Recipe
4 chicken breast halves
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bell peppers, cut into bite-size pieces
8-10 cherry tomatoes, whole
1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
Black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is fork-tender.

Serve with baked potatoes.

The Verdict
Super easy to make and tasted good too. The chicken was a bit dry, but once I got it cut up in small pieces it didn't seem that bad. I added extra salt and chilli sauce to my portion. Next time I think I might toss the chicken with flour first, to make a thicker sauce - it was awfully watery this time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Week 48: Red curry soup

The Recipe
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp red Thai curry paste
5 cups chicken stock
2 duck breasts, skinless and boneless (couldn't find duck, I used chicken)
125ml coconut milk (I used a small can ~ 160ml)
1 tsp sugar
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (couldn't find any - I used soy sauce)
1 red and 1 green bell pepper
1 small can of corn (~150-200g)

Cut the duck and bell peppers into bite sized pieces.

In a pot heat up the oil and stir fry onion, chilli and ginger for 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and the chicken and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring. Add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients and let simmer for 5 minutes, so the vegetables are warm but still crisp.

Sprinkle with basil leaves when serving.

The Verdict
I absolutely LOVED it. It tasted delicious and had a nice 'bite'. It was too hot for DH unfortunately, which I should have anticipated. I really want to try it with duck now, as I think that would only improve it.

2022: I tried making it again last night with duck. It still tasted good, but didn't have as much bite to it as I remembered. It's alright, but that's about it.

The duck was NICE though :-D

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Week 47: Chickpea Soup

The Recipe
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
150g bacon
2 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 orange (or 1dl orange juice)
1 can (400g) tomatoes
8dl pork or chickenstock
salt and pepper
1 can (400g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

In a pot heat the oil and cook onion and garlic at low heat for 4 minutes. Add bacon and cumin and stir fry for about a minute. Add orange juice, tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and let the soup simmer under lid for 20 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes.

The Verdict
10 minutes wasn't quite enough to get the chickpeas tender enough. I think I'll give it 20 minutes next time. Otherwise I loved the soup. The chickpeas were a nice change from the ever-present beans, and the orange juice added a nice touch.